Top 10 richest presidents in the world 2023
Explore the world's wealthiest presidents, from Vladimir Putin to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in this in-depth analysis of their fortunes and influence.
The intersection of wealth and power is a captivating subject of intrigue, especially in today's ecosystem where economic prowess often shapes global politics. From the corridors of political authority, we delve into the opulent lives of the richest presidents in the world who not only govern nations but also amass personal fortunes that rival the mightiest economies.
In this exploration of the world's richest leaders, we venture into the enigmatic realms of wealth accumulation, where currency strength and national prosperity intertwine.
Who is a president?
In exploring the wealthiest presidents around the globe, it's essential to note that this article exclusively focuses on ruling heads of states who hold presidential positions.
As such, monarchs, such as King Salman of Saudi Arabia and King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand, two of the world's richest monarchs, have not been included in this assessment.
This distinction is made due to the unique governance structures of their respective countries, where the actual administration of state affairs is overseen by Prime Ministers.
Among our subjects, we encounter leaders from the richest countries in the world and the richest countries in Africa, individuals who not only wield political clout but also command financial empires.
These leaders, some propelled by visionary entrepreneurship and others by inheritance, illuminate the intriguing interplay between governance and personal wealth.
Join us on this journey as we unveil the intriguing stories of those who govern nations while navigating the complexities of economic power, featuring not just some of the strongest currencies in Africa but also the world's most valuable legal tenders.
10. Bashar al-Assad
Ranked as the 10th richest president worldwide, the net worth of Syrian regime President Bashar al-Assad and his family falls within the estimated range of one to two billion dollars, according to a report by the US State Department.
This assessment comes with inherent complexities due to the belief that the Assad family possesses assets concealed under fictitious names or within intricate real estate transactions.
Furthermore, the report highlights the Assad family's utilisation of a multifaceted sponsorship system, encompassing shell companies and front entities, which the regime employs as conduits for accessing financial resources.
This considerable wealth extends to include Bashar al-Assad, his wife, his brother, his sister, his cousins, and his aunts and uncles, with many of them falling under American sanctions.
In response to this financial profile that ranks Assad as one of the richest presidents in the world, the United States has called for accountability measures targeting Syria's head of state and the key figures within his regime.
The US Congress has imposed sanctions on Bashar al-Assad and his family members, aiming to curtail their ability to engage in financial transactions.
9. Mohammed VI
Moroccan King Mohammed VI stands as a striking embodiment of the adage "rich as a king." Following his father's passing in 1999, Mohammed VI inherited a substantial fortune, valued at an impressive two and a half billion dollars, which ranks him tenth as the world's richest presidents and rulers.
With his role as the sovereign of the historically significant and vast nation of Morocco, he retains his position among Africa's wealthiest individuals.
This status is significantly bolstered by the fact that the monarch plays a role in the mining industry, further enhancing his financial standing. His estimated wealth of $2.5 billion places him tenth in the global rankings.
8. Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani
Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar indeed presides over one of the world's wealthiest countries, despite his substantial personal wealth not always aligning with his official position. Since ascending to power following a handover from his father, he has allocated a significant portion of Qatar's resources, approximately $2.5 billion, to rank as the eighth richest president in the world.
The Al-Thani family's legacy as leaders dates back in history, illustrating their enduring influence with Sheikh Tamim having played a pivotal role in the establishment of Al Jazeera, the prominent news channel known globally.
Additionally, he has ventured into the realm of sports by expressing interest in investing in major football clubs, including Rangers FC and Manchester United.
As the Emir of Qatar and one of the world's richest presidents, Sheikh Tamim serves as the nation's representative during state visits and assumes responsibility for coordinating Qatar's development in the realm of oil and natural gas reserves.
This stewardship has notably contributed to his personal wealth, accumulating a substantial $2.4 billion in his bank account.
He possesses a military background, having trained at England's prestigious Sandhurst Military Academy.
Prior to his ascension as Emir, he served as Qatar's Minister of Defense, overseeing an intensive modernization program for the Qatari armed forces.
Sheikh Tamim's status as one of the world's richest presidents is marked by having three wives and a remarkable 24 children.
Beyond his personal fortunes, Sheikh Tamim has been an active proponent of promoting Qatar on the international stage.
His efforts culminated in hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup, an event of global significance, as well as the World Swimming Competition.
He is also a member of various Olympic committees, further emphasizing his commitment to advancing Qatar's presence and influence in the realm of sports and international affairs.
7. Kim Jong-un
Amidst discussions of the world's richest presidents, it's noteworthy to consider a leader whose wealth narrative takes a markedly different course. Kim Jong-un, the third generation of his family to hold power in North Korea since 1948, is the seventh richest president in the world and presides over a nation characterised by starkly contrasting factors.
While his regime has been widely criticised for its human rights record, ranking among the "worst countries in the world" in this regard according to international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch, Kim Jong-un's personal financial stature is of significant intrigue.
In an assessment by Forbes, Kim Jong-un occupies a prominent position as one of the world's most powerful individuals, ranking 39th in their esteemed list.
Nevertheless, his economic standing paints a multifaceted portrait.
His accumulated fortune is estimated at $5 billion, with his income experiencing significant expansion since assuming the governorship of North Korea in 2011.
Notably, Kim Jong-un harbors a passion for ice skiing, a pursuit that led him to inaugurate the opulent Masik Pass Ski Resort in North Korea in 2013.
This lavish retreat encompasses a hotel, chalets, an equipment store, and even a helicopter landing pad, catering to a select few in a country of nearly 24 million people.
Reports from the United Nations have shed light on Kim Jong-un's extravagant expenditures over the years. In 2012, it was revealed that he allocated over $645 million for various luxuries, including Mercedes-Benz cars and musical instruments.
Kim Jong-un, being one of the richest presidents in the world, reportedly travels in a luxurious private jet, enabling him to oversee North Korea's ongoing projects with ease from the comfort of his aircraft.
A South Korean parliamentary report, divulged further indulgences in the dictator's lifestyle, including extravagant expenses on alcoholic beverages, purebred dogs, the construction of saunas within his residence, and a penchant for high-end watches, some costing more than $2,000 each.
Additional insights from NK News suggest that Kim Jong-un is known to relax on the coastlines of his country aboard a comfortable yacht, a vessel he reportedly acquired for more than $7 million.
This intriguing mix of extravagance and authoritarian rule underscores the enigmatic intersection of wealth and power that characterizes his leadership, cementing him as one of the richest presidents in the world.
6. Hans-Adam II
Johannes Adam Ferdinand Alois Josef Maria Marco d'Aviano Pius, the Prince of Liechtenstein, possesses a name as extensive as his impressive wealth portfolio.
Descending from a family with a passion for art collecting, he also assumes ownership of the LGT Banking Group, and since 2004 has entrusted some of his state powers to his son, Alois, securing the family's influence in the nation.
Collectively, the entire family's wealth amounts to approximately $7.6 billion, establishing them as one of the wealthiest royal families in Europe and Hans-Adam II as the sixth richest president in the world.
Beyond his role as the head of the petite European state of Liechtenstein, Hans-Adam II is among the world's richest monarchs and holds the distinction of being the wealthiest European ruler, surpassing even more renowned monarchs like King Charles of Great Britain and Queen Beatrix I of the Netherlands.
Hans-Adam II's financial journey is marked by diligence and astute business acumen.
He not only presides over the LGT banking group but also took charge of his family's financial affairs at the tender age of 27.
The lineage of the Liechtenstein family extends back over 900 years, a historical legacy that contributes to their status as one of Europe's wealthiest ruling families.
Their financial influence spans substantial holdings in major international banks and oil companies, with financial assets at LGT Bank reaching $2.6 billion.
As one of the world's richest presidents in the world, Hans-Adam II's wealth is exemplified by his possession of a prestigious painting gallery, housing some of the world's most valuable artworks.
5. Bola Ahmed Tinubu
As the fifth richest president in the world, Chief Bola Ahmed Adekunle Tinubu commands not only political prominence but also a significant fortune, estimated at a staggering $8.4 billion. He holds the distinguished position of being Nigeria's second wealthiest individual and stands out as the nation's richest politician.
Africa's wealthiest president, Chief Tinubu's ascent to this level of wealth and influence is marked by his pivotal role in reshaping Nigeria's political landscape, notably breaking the 16-year dominance of the People's Democratic Party (PDP) and establishing himself as a formidable force in contemporary Nigerian politics.
His journey towards riches began after completing his education at Chicago State University, followed by employment in the United States. Upon returning to Nigeria, he furthered his wealth by contributing to ExxonMobil.
Beyond his political career, Chief Tinubu boasts a thriving business portfolio, with affiliations to renowned international firms, including Oando, among others.
While a substantial portion of his wealth stems from his entrepreneurial ventures, it's crucial to recognize that his political engagements, including two terms as Lagos State governor and his current presidency, have significantly contributed to his standing as one of Nigeria's wealthiest individuals.
Chief Tinubu's business interests span a wide array of sectors, including agriculture, hospitality, media, oil and gas, and real estate.
Although he has denied ownership of some companies, he openly acknowledges ownership of others and is renowned for his investments in blue-chip company stocks.
As the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the president of Africa's richest nation, Chief Tinubu maintains a considerable influence on Nigerian politics. His real estate holdings feature valuable assets, including a million-dollar residence in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The extent of Chief Tinubu's wealth is further evidenced by his impressive collection of luxury vehicles, including a G-wagon, multiple Mercedes-Benz cars, a Range Rover, and other high-end automobiles.
Additionally, he owns a private plane, the Bombardier Global Express XRS, valued at $60 million.
4. Mohammed bin Rashid
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has held the positions of Ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates since January 2006, stands as the fourth wealthiest president globally.
Inheriting the role from his brother, Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed oversees a family that comprises four sons. His ascent to power was marked by his succession to the leadership of Dubai.
Remarkably, Sheikh Mohammed's family boasts substantial wealth, with an estimated net worth of approximately $44 billion.
Notably, some of his wives hail from the royal family, and four of his daughters are married to other rulers, further solidifying his family's prominence and fortune.
Sheikh Mohammed holds a significant stake in Dubai Holdings, a conglomerate that ranks as the largest property owner in the country.
His notable assets include the world's second-largest yacht, underlining his penchant for opulent acquisitions.
3. Hassanal Bolkiah
Hassanal Bolkiah ibni Omar Ali Saifuddien III, often referred to as the Sultan of Brunei, ranks third among the world's wealthiest presidents with a fortune estimated at $20 billion.
Despite the diminutive size of Brunei as a nation, the Sultan's wealth is substantial, thanks to the country's vast reserves of oil and natural gas.
His opulent lifestyle is exemplified by his ownership of one of the most extravagant and rarest car collections globally, including vehicles made of gold.
Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah has been divorced twice, resulting in the stripping of his ex-wives' royal titles. His family comprises seven daughters, five sons, and ten grandchildren.
The Sultan's wealth, primarily derived from his nation's abundant energy resources, underpins an enduring dynasty, believed to be one of the world's oldest.
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Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah utilizes his substantial wealth to provide Brunei's citizens with notable benefits, including zero income taxes, free education, and universal healthcare, effectively creating a comprehensive national health service.
His lavish lifestyle extends to his ownership of a golden plane and his extravagant expenditures, such as the extraordinary wedding he hosted for his son in 2015, where even the bridal bouquet was crafted from precious stones.
Although he once held the title of the world's richest man in 1997, he later yielded that position to Bill Gates.
The Sultan's royal family resides in a colossal palace recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest presidential palace globally, boasting an astounding 2.2 million square feet of space.
This grand structure, constructed at a cost of $1.4 billion in 1984, is just one facet of the Sultan's vast holdings, which also include an impressive collection of over seven thousand state-of-the-art cars and numerous private planes.
2. Mohammed bin Salman
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, regarded by Forbes as 8th most powerful person in the world, holds the distinction of being the third richest president globally, boasting a reported personal wealth exceeding $25 billion.
Among his notable possessions, Crown Prince Mohammed counts the most expensive oil painting globally, Leonardo da Vinci's Salvator Mundi, a portrait of Jesus Christ that fetched a record-breaking $450.3 million at auction in 2017, and which he subsequently donated to the United Arab Emirates. His lavish acquisitions extend to France's Château Louis XIV, acquired for a staggering $301 million, solidifying it as the world's most expensive estate.
Revelations from Saudi company files unveil his role as the managing director of a massive state-owned chemical supplier, with ownership of 20% of its shares.
Furthermore, in 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed orchestrated a substantial deal between Europe's Airbus Group and Saudi Arabia's state-owned airline, yielding significant returns for his family.
His financial acumen and status as on of the richest presidents in the world traces back to his early years, as he reportedly engaged in stock trading during his college and law school days.
By 2010, as his father ascended closer to the throne and he assumed various government roles, Prince Mohammed made significant fortunes in Saudi Arabian stocks, amassing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has emerged as a key architect of transformative reforms within Saudi Arabia.
These include landmark changes such as allowing women the right to drive, reducing the authority of the religious police, and expanding women's access to cultural events, concerts, and sports matches.
However, his tenure has not been without criticism. Internal power dynamics within the royal family have been marked by divisions and a high-profile "purge," ostensibly targeting corruption, which involved the seizure of assets and the arrest of former senior royals who opposed his centralization of power.
The 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a tragic event attributed by the CIA to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, drew significant Western scrutiny and cast a shadow over his reformist image, despite his denial of involvement.
These complex facets of leadership, from transformative reforms to international controversies, paint a multifaceted portrait of one of the world's most powerful and wealthy leaders.
1. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin, the current President of Russia, holds the distinction of being the wealthiest president globally, with an estimated fortune surpassing $40 billion. President Putin served as the head of the Russian Federation from 2000 until 2008. During his initial term, Russia experienced significant economic prosperity.
Notably Putin earned 38.5 million rubles (roughly $673,000) between 2011 and 2016, according to information publicly released by the Central Election Commission of the Russian Federation. However, alongside this seemingly modest declaration, it was revealed that he owned a remarkable 11 luxury yachts.
While speculative assertions once pegged his wealth at nearly $70 billion, including substantial stakes in prominent Russian enterprises such as the oil company Surgut and the gas giant Gazprom, contemporary estimates tend to place his net worth in the vicinity of $40 billion.
Furthermore, allegations have been made by whistleblowers like former government member I. Rybkin and political scientist S. Belkovsky, asserting that President Putin wields control over clandestine assets within oil and gas corporations like Gazprom and Gunvor, potentially accumulating a value exceeding $40 billion.
Although these claims have yet to be officially substantiated, they underscore the possibility that Putin's wealth surpasses that of any other world leader, comfortably making him the richest president globally.
Whether his fortune was amassed through unscrupulous means or not, it positions him firmly at the pinnacle of this list.